Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others

In our day and age of technology and social media, we have lost our sense of empathy. We comment, reply, respond, message, post, tweet, snap things that we would NEVER EVER say to a person’s face.

Most people could (hopefully) read the emotion on someone’s face when they were in person. But behind our screens we lose all decency and empathy.

Some atrocious new story such as a kidnapping or murder occur, and we comment on the FB news station page, “well they shouldn’t have been doing xyz”. Maybe our words of sympathy or a simple scroll on by would be better. The families read those comments as do others who might be in a similar situation.

Our food order is wrong at a restaurant, we run to social media and complain. A tweet costing an employee, that made a simple mistake, demerits at their job. Maybe just let it go, or a call to the restaurant without informing the universe. The entire world is short staffed, we could be a little more gracious.

A decision in government is made that could possibly benefit a neighbor but also weigh another down, we cry foul and complain either way. Most of the time voicing our opinions on social media isn’t going to change things, let’s use our voice at the polls.

We post generalizations that are inherently true, but we have a dear friend suffering and their feelings are completely overlooked because a point must be made on Facebook to our “rightness”. Must it be said, do we consider our friend?

A lack of empathy behind the screen will eventually lead to a crass society. I truly don’t think we are there yet. I think most folks have empathy in real life. But I do think we are on a slippery slope. We cannot win souls with an ugly attitude!

I Peter 3:8-9 (but keep reading – good stuff right there!)

8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing


May is a big month! It is so busy with end of school year activities. May is a time when I can’t help but think about endings and beginnings. With the school year winding down, so many young people are graduating from high school and college and looking forward to new beginnings. All those graduates in their caps and gown make me feel bittersweet. I hate that they are leaving the comfort and safety of their nest, but I am excited for what comes next in their lives. I know that they cannot thrive staying in the same place, standing still. They must move forward to reach their full potential. Isn’t that the way life is though? Almost all new beginnings pair with endings. For all of us change-phobic humans in the world, that reality can be a challenge. Endings often bring change, loss, and a fear of the unknown. If I am honest, I am not a fan. But I do love when I see someone wholeheartedly embracing new beginnings. What I am learning is that when you embrace them, beginnings are filled with vitality and a buzzing, electric hope for the future. A sense of adventure fuels beginnings, and curiosity and determination sustain them.

It is so human of me to cling to the past and dread endings, isn’t it? I really think beginnings are supernatural, and God has a lot to say about beginnings. He created them in the first place, so whether you tend to cling to the old or embrace change headlong, God’s word is a good place to go to look for guidance. When we are saved, Christians become a new creation. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the Bible says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” When I read that verse and think about the old me, dead in my sin, suddenly change-phobic Heather feels really good about new beginnings. Here is what I am learning to love about beginnings. God is in the beginning business. He gives us the opportunity for new life in Him. That means that if we confess our sins, repent, and ask Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we can have a new life here on Earth and for eternity in Heaven. Earlier I said that beginnings and ending are a matched set, right. So that tells me that becoming a Christian comes with some endings.

Earlier I said endings are hard, and let’s be clear, dying to self and submitting to someone else’s authority rather than my own is hard, and sometimes feels counterintuitive. Sometimes, often, I don’t succeed. I have bad habits that I give into. I like to take control of situations, I focus too much on myself, and I lose my temper. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. The good thing is, God allows us to ask for forgiveness and He forgives us again. We can have new beginnings when we make mistakes. In Mark 2, Jesus tells a parable about wineskins. He says don’t put new wine in old wineskins. The old wineskin would burst open. It would ruin the wineskin and the wine would be ruined as well. He said that new wine should be poured into new wineskins. God doesn’t want us to continue doing life the way we have always done. He challenges us to accept the ending of our old selves, draw closer to Him, and change. But when we mess up, and we all do, he graciously forgives us and provides a new beginning again. When you embrace the new beginning, He will fill you with hope and vitality, and when you seek Him with curiosity and determination, He will make you new, and He will sustain you.

Whichever side you lean toward, the change-phobic, or the eager, embracer of new things, I hope you look to the Lord to sustain you when new opportunities arise and as you walk in the newness of your life in Christ every day. And if you don’t yet know Jesus, there is no time like right now to ask Him for the new beginning he longs to give you.

Thank you, God for giving us a new life in You. When we make mistakes, please help us to confess our sins and renew our relationship with You. Help us to remain new wineskins, filled with new wine. Help us to move forward with curiosity, wonder, and excitement as we navigate life. Help us not to settle for the comfort of the same, but to run after your purpose for our lives. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


Change we all hate it. We see it coming and we still dig our heels in. We all have a hard time with change. Whether we are ready or not change happens and is coming. One season of change that is hard to face always happens during the month of May, Graduation season,

Graduation season always moves the time clock up for our children. Promotions to the next grade level, graduating kindergarten, 8th grade, high school and even college and on to empty nesters. All of these changes in our lives as parents really hit hard. Sometimes we are ready and sometimes we are not.

I find myself in the empty nester stage. This season for me watches as one daughter is married, wife, teacher and coach and the other daughter graduated with her masters, living in Arkansas and looking for her God appointed job. People have asked me all through my daughters’ college careers and after “are you sad they are gone”, “sad they are not at home anymore”, My answer is yes and no: Yes because I love having them around and living life with them and No because they are where God wants them to be. They are living out His life plan for them and I love seeing God work in them by opening and closing doors, providing for them and teaching them to rely on Him.

This season of change in our lives as parents is not easy. If we cling too hard to them and interfere every time and try to fix it God can’t teach them what He needs for them to learn. All through my life with my girls I was the fixer. You’re mad so I am too, I need to jump in and take over, you got it. But by doing this my girls have missed out on what God was teaching them. We need to learn to back off. God has this under control and we need to trust Him. Being on the sideline is hard as a parent. God has told me many times “ back off I got this.” This is not easy as a parent I know but we have to learn to let God guide them and us.

God has given me a ministry at the high school where I teach. He has given me more “children” to love and support, encourage, cheer for and guide. These children graduate and move on to their God given plan and it still brings me to tears as it did my own daughters. Even in the empty nest time of your life God gives you a purpose.

So you mommas and daddies who are starting your parenting journey to those graduating your last child at home. You got this. Let God guide and direct you and teach you when to help and when to back off. Don’t interfere. He has got this.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Pray this verse over your children.

Already Ready

But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, CSB.

As a younger woman I often took a long time to get ready. I remember as a teenager my brother begging to get into the bathroom we shared as I was fixing my hair and makeup. Now, if my family is going to a special event they are often sitting and waiting for me to finish getting ready. To be fair, as the mother I am often the one doing things like getting the gift together or making sure the dogs are tended to, not to mention helping others pick out event-appropriate clothes. So, to compare my time to get ready to my husband’s, who does not have long hair to fix and makeup to apply, is like comparing the preparation of hamburger helper to that of a gourmet meal. But I digress. The point is, I do feel the need to dress for an occasion. I have learned, however, that the preparation does not need to be extensive for every occasion, and the older I get the more likely I am to show up in a ball cap and t-shirt. I guess over time I have learned to value my time over what someone else might think of me.

You can probably relate to the need to dress for the occasion and may have held a bathroom hostage in your day as well. In this world we often need to prepare ourselves to be accepted. We must be qualified to get a job, meet criteria to obtain approval to buy a home, and have all the appropriate documentation to travel to other countries. We sometimes carry the thought process of needing to be ready into our Christian faith. You may have felt like you are not good enough for God to love you, and that he would not accept you because of what you have done. Perhaps feeling like you are not ready enough has kept you from going to church or making friends with people at church. 

Romans 5:8 says that while we were still sinners Jesus died for us. Nothing is required to receive salvation. No red tape, prerequisites, or qualifications needed. He loves us so much he died for us without taking any deposits or having a single promissory note. In fact, he knew we were a rotten bunch, tainted by sin to the point we persecuted and killed the very man who came to save us. He knew exactly how flawed we are, and he gave his life for us anyway. We do not need to clean up or cover up before we come to him. We are already ready, just as we are.


I’ve been in a state of panic for the past week. I was supposed to start working out hard again 2 months ago knowing that I was going on a river trip with a group of people over Memorial Day weekend. Ugh. I’ve failed again to meet people’s expectations of what I’m “supposed” to look like (in my mind, anyway).

In today’s age, where social media and popular culture inundate our minds with images and expectations of perfection, it’s not surprising to find that many women are battling insecurities. The continuous exposure to such unrealistic standards can fuel feelings of unworthiness, inadequacy, and self-doubt. However, as Christians, we are privileged to have a different frame of reference for our worth, one that is rooted not in the transient ideals of society but in the everlasting love of God.

Scripture offers numerous affirmations of our worth in God’s eyes, and it’s through understanding these truths that we can start to unravel the knot of insecurities. Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” This scripture emphasizes that you were not created by accident, but with intentionality and precision. God crafted you uniquely, making you one of a kind. So, when you find yourself struggling with the insecurity of not fitting into societal standards of beauty or success, remember this verse and take solace in knowing you are wonderfully made by the Creator himself.

I yelled at my kid today and immediately felt like a horrible mom. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This scripture reveals the depth of God’s love for us, a love so profound that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son. When the world’s measure of love is often conditional, based on appearance, achievements, or status, God’s love is unconditional.

If you find yourself feeling unloved or unlovable, lean into this truth. In Luke 12:6-7, Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” This passage underscores the value God places on each of us.

Despite feeling overlooked or undervalued by the world, we are reminded that God cherishes us deeply, to the extent of knowing the number of hairs on our head. You are always seen, always remembered, and always valued by Him.

I often feel like everything I do is a mistake or not good enough. Then, God reminds me that Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We all have a unique purpose, a divine calling that God has prepared for us.

If you feel a sense of worthlessness or aimlessness, remember that you are created with a specific purpose in mind. Embrace this purpose and strive to fulfill it; it’s not about worldly achievements, but rather doing God’s work in the way only you can. Embracing your worth in God is a journey that requires constant reaffirmation through scripture, prayer, and fellowship. It involves replacing the narrative of insecurity that the world has scripted for you with the narrative of divine worth and love that God has inscribed on your heart.

As Christian women, we must remember that our worth does not lie in our physical appearance, social status, or accomplishments, but rather in our status as beloved children of God, created with purpose and valued beyond measure. When we embrace this truth, we can combat our insecurities and step into the fullness of our identity in Christ, confident of our infinite worth in God’s eyes.


Sometimes being a servant to someone is a hard avenue to navigate but thankfully, as christians, we have the perfect example of what a servant looks like, Jesus. Even when he knew he would soon endure unmeasurable pain, even when he knew he would be betrayed by his closest friends, he still took the time to teach others, heal others, mourn with others, and wash the feet of his betrayer.

Jesus tells his disciples in John 13:14 that because He washed their feet they should go and wash one another’s feet. He was showing them servanthood and commanding them to be servants like Him!

We are reminded again to be servants in Galatians 5:13. “You my brothers and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather serve one another humbly in love.” We should serve to build others up!

When we’re weary, tired, and having a bad attitude Jesus reins us in saying “Hey, do this to glorify me and my name.” Ephesians 6:7 “Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord, not man.” Sometimes it is not easy to serve others. Maybe we don’t feel like they deserve it or maybe they have been rude to you. But it makes it a little easier when we know we’re doing it for our Lord.

So let’s focus on being servants like Jesus and we will have hope that one day we will hear our Heavenly Father say, “Well done good and faithful servant…come and share your masters happiness.” Matthew 25:21


Recently I sat under the shade of an old live oak tree. I was sitting on the rope swing, listening to praise and worship music and resting my soul when the Lord began to speak to me.

He said look at this tree, the branches reaching to the ground in places, providing shade for many and a strong sturdy trunk. The family is like this tree. You are growing for generations to come. Your parents and grandparents before you, your children and grandchildren after you, but now is your time.

What are you growing? Are your roots running deep? Are you established in the word and tapping into the source of life? Or are your roots running on top of the ground with just enough to keep you standing and satisfied ? With surface roots the storms of life will eventually destroy you! With roots that run deep you will withstand the storms.

There will be casualties because we live in an imperfect world as imperfect people, divorce, death, addictions, the tree will need to be pruned but rooted deep you will thrive. You will provide shade for many, a place of rest, a place that brings peace and joy because your tree is rooted in Christ.

What tree are you growing right now? Are you growing deep roots for future generations or will your children and grandchildren feel the affects of your weak surface roots? Mamas, I know you are tired. You run, work, cook, make sure the games are attended, the uniforms are washed , baths are taken and most of the time you feel unappreciated.

Make time for Jesus in your schedule. There is no greater gift to give your children than established roots in Christ. Dads, husbands, I know you often feel unappreciated, like the wallet for your family, working hard and dishing out money but your job is so much greater. You are the the earthly father, the earthly husband start mimicking the heavenly one! Your job is so important. There has been a lack in family systems. It does not matter if you are married, single, divorced, parents or not. God is speaking to us today to grow our roots in him because the storms will come, they always come. It’s time to get rooted in him so that we are not easily blown over .

If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy , the branches are too.

Romans 11:16

The mind

In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul addresses one of the greatest and long-lasting human struggles – the mind. While speaking to the church in Philippia, Paul wrote in chapter four this verse, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. “(Phil. 4:8)

This verse stands as the brain-checklist, the original document to go back to when our minds decide to venture outside of these standards.

The main points from this verse that stood out to me were:

  • Truth is not subjective; there is only one Truth, and that is found in the Word. 
  • Nobility is simply doing what is right(a synonym for this word is in fact, “righteous”). In the mind, thinking nobly would be thinking righteously. 
  • To think rightly would be in terms of Micah 6:8. It’s the “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly” type of attitude.
  • Purity is both a mind and body goal. And while we do fall short of the glory of God from time to time(Rom 3:23), purity is not a one-and-done thing. Praise be to Him that in a world where purity is specifically targeted, His grace and mercy still overshadow any impure moments. Just as the mouth speaks out of the heart(Matt 12:34) the body acts out of the brain. Therefore, if the mind is impure, it is hard, if not impossible to keep the body pure. 
  • To think about lovely things sounds pretty self-explanatory. We are to not think in a way that does not reflect God’s character. Since God is love and created a way for us to love each other, we are to think about each other in a loving way.  
  • Lastly, to think on things that are admirable re-emphasizes the entire point of a godly mindset. We are to fixate our minds onto exemplary and praiseworthy subjects, emotions, and people that bring glory to God. In doing this, we bring glory to him by  obeying His commands concerning how to think. 

While this is the goal of a godly mindset, this is all easier said than done. We are imperfect humans and while we strive to accomplish every part of this verse, we are prone to mess-ups. 

The rapper NF states in his song “The Search” that “The mind is a powerful place, and what you feed it can affect you in a powerful way.” In this sense, if we feed our minds(purposely or unconsciously) with impure, unloving, unjust, untrue and unrighteous things, it will be the direct definition of “difficult” to have a godly mind. Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to protect our minds, “for life flows from it.” Protecting our minds is important because it does produce life, but living and surviving are two different things. 

In order to be different in this world, we have to live differently. Whether that means we monitor our screens, environment, or the books we read, we have to fill our minds with God honoring thoughts and themes. Living a different, godly life begins with a different, godly mind. So, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable, think of these things.”


God is writing and creating your masterpiece. It may not be the puzzle you wanted to assemble, but I assure you it is a masterpiece.

Handcrafted and knitted together by a King who loves you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

– Jeremiah 29:11

We hear this scripture a lot. Especially during the graduation season. We bring it to memorization. We trust in it. My question is do we really listen to it? Listen to the meaning?

He has plans for you.

They might just be totally different than your own. That is beautiful. Often times our life can feel like a messy, messy, out of place puzzle.

There are so many good pieces that we hold close to our heart. Then there is the group of bad puzzle pieces that a lot of the time we just rather not speak of. We would rather them get lost within the rummage of life. As we listen to the love of Christ and walk with him, entrusting that he knows the plans he has for us, know that the puzzle may be full of pieces we want to get rid of.

You can’t get rid of them though.

You have to hold on tight for the ride. Allow the Holy Spirit to walk you through those tough moments within the masterpiece. You have to trust his plans will prosper. I am so confident that when you trust his plans and trust in his will for your life that you will back up and realize one day that it is a masterpiece hand knitted by a loving God. Realizing in order to walk according to his will it took some ugly puzzle pieces to complete the puzzle. Be thankful for them. It’s not what we would call a masterpiece within our human selves, but it is very much crafted by the almighty King. He’s a redeemer and covenant maker.

I want more of you Jesus. I want more of your plans.

⁃ More of knowing that you know what’s best.

⁃ More of knowing that you know what I need.

⁃ Knowing that you designed and know me better than I know myself.

I could never get enough of you. I could never get enough of trusting in the masterpiece you are knitting together.


The great thing about this side of heaven is we all have weaknesses. We all have things we stink at, say wrong, do wrong, and just can’t do right. Just hear me out friends.

Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 that his weaknesses laid the ground work for God’s power to be seen in his life. In his humanness he begged the Lord to remove them though…just like I would to be completely honest. Who the heck wants weaknesses anyway? But this is what the Lord said…

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

For us today, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea of weakness being a good thing. We’re suppose to have great grades, not get speeding tickets, not have a temper, and show all the fruits of the spirit all the time right? Psh, even the Lord knows that’s not possible.

It’s time we realize our weaknesses are an opportunity for us to grow closer to Jesus. They’re an open door to understanding God’s word better and applying it to our lives. If we really stop and think about it, it was our weaknesses that brought us to Jesus in the first place. It was what we could not accomplish on our own that brought us to the one who could conquer all things.

No, I’m not saying you get a gold sticker for the things you aren’t good at. It doesn’t work that way. But I hope and pray you allow your weaknesses to set the stage for God’s mighty power in your life.

-Harley Jo 💗